Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Shadowdancer's Vault Walkthrough - Part II

   T H E   S H A D O W D A N C E R ' S  V A U L T   
A NWN2 module by Jolly Jenkins
Sequel to   S H R O U D E D  S U N  

Part I | Part II

Beholder Caves

• Lay waste to the ogre, cave troll and two beholders who greet you in the caves. There is a second lot to deal with in the side chamber, too.
Weapon Rack: Composite Longbow +1.
Chest: 2431 GP, Potion of Heal and scrolls of Web and Stone to Flesh.
• Take the door in the north (OL DC-45, DD DC-35) and wind your way through the tunnel, taking care of the Beholder Mage, ogre and cave troll hunter thralls. Loot: Wind by the Fireside (book), Throwing Axe +3 (x20).
• The formidable Demon Troll Vaprak stands guard in the next chamber; its corpse yielding the Spear of Vaprak (spear +3, AC vs. Lawful +3, Vampiric Regeneration +7).
• Open the DC-43 locked door and slay the eye tyrant and beholder on the other side of it. Loot: Marvellous Artefacts for the Resistance of Sorcery (recipe book), Sapphire.
Sanctum of Natu'er the Terrible. This beholder boss dropped like a sack of shit not long after it threw up a locational Blade Barrier. This encounter was EZ compared to the Gith one, or maybe I just got lucky. Loot: Eye of the Beholder Mage (All ability scores +1, Greater Dispelling 1/day), Beholder Key, Dagger +3.

Treasure room. The heavylocked chest (DC-45) holds Potion of Heal, Bracers of Archery (Point Blank Shot, Dexterity +2), Shou Lung Wall Fragment (x2, arrows, piercing +6, Sonic +1d6).
• Use the Beholder Key to release Whisper from confinment in the nearby cell (500 XP). She is the linguist Gissen sent you to find.
• Ok, we're done here. Backtrack through the caves to the Underdark. You will note the almost pitch-black darkness that makes it difficult to navigate the dungeon, but you should be used to casting the Light spell by now. You may also be ambushed by umber hulks on your way back to the excavation site.
Excavation site. Upon your return you will find that Gissen is not himself; in fact, the entire svirfneblin archaeological party has been dominated by the illithids, who have beaten you into the Imaskari Vault. Put the gnomes out of their misery and enter the now-accessible vault in search of The Architect.

Imaskari Vault

• The object is to acquire the key to the Lower Vault from Planetar guardians in the west of the dungeon. The undead of the dungeon have come under the control of the Alhoons who are seeking to slay the Architect lest it reveal the location of the Shadowdancer's Vault to you.
• Open the trapped door (DC-40) and slay the denizens lurking within the first and second chambers: one each of mummy lord and dread wraith, and two each of Alhoon, rogue shadow and zombie.
• Proceed north into the burial chamber, loot the two sarcophagi for their treasures, and destroy the mummy lords that spawn from them as a result. Sarcophagi: 7546, Amulet of Will +4, Will of the Lost (club +4, Vampiric Regeneration +11), Arrow of the Vampire (x99), Bolt of Lightning (x99), Wand of Summoning.
• In the central chamber an Alhoon guards the door to the Lower Vault, backed up by mummy lord, skeleton mage and two zombies. We need to find the key before we can take that door to the Lower Vault.

• Head west and smack down the death tyrant, mummy lord and two zombies that guard the chamber.
• Proceed south to encounter a trio of hostile Planetar guardians who have managed to capture Naferius, a hulking ex-Baatezu General of Stygia Brigade.

• The planetars are holding the Imaskari Vault Key that you need to access the Lower Vault. Slay them and take it.

• Naferius came here searching for the location of the vault, hoping it would give him powers to usurp the current Archdevil, Levistus. Instead, he was captured and bound by the Planetars. However, now that his captors have been slain it is only a matter of time until he is freed. I was unable to damage him with force-attack.
• Backtrack to the central chamber and use the key to unlock the door to the Lower Vault.

Lower Vault

Ulitharid Ancient Jun-Toa guards the door to the Architect's study, flanked by an alhoon and ulitharid mage. Once you dispatch Jun-Toa's mundane form you will have to take on its epically-resistant psyche while avoiding its devastating electrical melee attacks. Upon its destruction the wards on the door will break and the door leading to the Architect will open.

Completed Quest: The Imaskari Vault - 4,000 XP. The Architect reveals that the Shadowdancer's Vault is located within a demi-plane of the Astral Plane. It gives you the Shadowdancer's Vault Cooridinates that you will need to take to the Portal Master. Nothing is stopping you from slaying the Architect for good XP, btw.

• Take the portal back to the Shrouded Sun Inn, make your way down to the Imaskari ruins where the Portal Master awaits, give it the coordinates to the SDV, and it will construct the portal to take you there.

Shadowdancer's Vault

Quest: The Shadowdancer's Vault. The object is to reach the Lower Vault and find the Singesoul Furnace in order to destroy the amulet and release the spirits that are captive within it. But first, we need to find two items that will grant us access to the Lower Vault.
• First up, make your way east to the Library and slay the vault golems and the petty, small-minded Librarian for being petty and small-minded. Bookshelves: The Origin of Magic (book), Prayer to the Overgod (book), Wars of the Creator Races (book), scrolls of Battletide, Disintegrate, See Invisibility, Knock, Banishment, Death Armor, Greater Planar Binding.  
• Just north of the Library you will disturb two planetars from their vigil, one of which is a champion. You will have to slay a planetar, aasimar and two vault golems en route.

Gub-Ruch & Crew will attack you on-sight when you reach the central-north chamber. Gub drops the Amulet of Natural Armor +4 and Emerald Dust, which is plot-critical item. Don't overlook or misplace it. Sarcophagus: Shield of the Holy (heavy shield +3, Bonus Feat: Extra Turning, Negative Energy 50% Immunity bonus).

Statue room. This place is teeming with tough foes: rogue shadow, eye tyrant, mummy lord and three zombies; not to mention the vampire shadow master that shifts into an enlarged vampire shadow after being vanquished, meaning you have to kill it twice. Good luck with that.
• Read the plaques at the base of the three statues for some lore on the major players:
The Architect: An Imaskari mage who constructed the vault and placed it in its own demi-plane on the Astral Plane. 
Old Night the Sun Eater: Recounts the story of the Shadowdancer itself.
General Dust Gemcutter: The gray dwarf who led the Old Night's forces to the surface. Dust sought his revenge against the surface-dwellers for leaving them to languish under illithid rule. Upon defeat his soul and those of his army were placed into the amulet by an ancient god. The Shadowdancer placed a curse, or perhaps a blessing, on those duergar who are the legacy of Dust.
Completed Quest: The Sun is Dead... But why? - 500 XP.
• Head south, loot the two sarcophagi, and destroy the two mummy shadows that spawn from each. Sarcophagi: Robe of the Archmagi (Armor AC bonus +5, Spell Penetration, Bonus Spell slot 5-7 [sorc/wiz], All saving throws +3, Spell Resistance 20)Talisman of Pure Evil (Charisma +3, Wisdom +3, Regeneration +7, evil only), The Dark Companion (short sword +3, Dexterity +2, Keen, Bonus Feat: Two-Weapon Fighting).
• Head south again and into the southernmost chamber of the dungeon, wherein two vampire shadow masters will spawn to flank you. Damn, they are tough muthas. Chest: Sallow Dust.
• Next make your way to the eastern wing and its southernmost chamber, slaying the undead and celestials patrolling it.
• Now, place the Emerald Dust into one of the braziers, and the Sallow Dust into the other, to have the great door open to the Lower Vault.
• You will be flanked by Matron Jhael and her crew who have tracked you down. Waste them. They drop no loot of note for your current level and wealth (which is a lil' disapointing - I mean, she's a Matron ffs).

The Singesoul Furnace

Boss Fight. The enigmatic Shadowdancer will be standing before the furnace, though it can hardly be seen due to its ethereal nature. It released the amulet into the Prime in the hope it would find a champion worthy to defeat it. Why does it want to die? The torment of being both good and evil is too much for it to bear. You will have to defeat the Shadowdancer in a duel to the death before you can destroy the amulet in the furnace. Simply whale upon the massive specter in both its Light & Darkness forms, ignoring (as best you can) the black swarm of shadows that it conjures into the chamber, and then buffs. Good luck!

Completed Quest: The Shadowdancer's Vault.
•  The power-hungry Screed will protest when you attempt to cast the amulet into the fire, demanding you hand it over to him so that he may unleash its spirit army to do his bidding. Twilight will back him up, meaning you and Bullhorn will be forced to slay them. Don't hold back. If you like, unequip their weapon beforehand and laugh as the fools battle you bare-fisted.
Cast the amulet into the Singesoul Furnace. The mighty spirit of General Dust Gemcutter will manifest on behalf of the spirit army and inquire into their fate. The three choices are as follows:
ChoiceOne that benefits me, I shall have the spirits carve out a kingdom in the Underdark that shall be ruled by me.
Ending slide: With the command of a massive and powerful spirit army you were able to put together and lead an Underdark kingdom that struck fear and terror into the hearts and minds of any surfacer.
Choice: Nothing, the spirits are free to do as they want.
Ending slide: You disappeared into the pages of history. You had your chance to leave your mark on history but you passed it up due to your principles.
ChoiceThe spirits have been tormented for long enough, you are all free to finally rest in peace.
Ending slide: As above.
Note on the first option: You have the option of sparing Bullhorn (and having him conquer the Underdark with you), or slaying him outright, but you don't get to duel him if you choose the latter (he just dies, which is disappointing).
• The ending slideshow also covers the fate of a few of your friends & foes:

The illithid managed to gain a good chunk of dark and powerful secrets from the Shadowdancer's Vault. They are now one step closer to ruling all of the Realms once again...

House Kilana, in a weakened state due to resources they used to fight you, were pounced upon and destroyed by House Da'Var. One of the most powerful Houses in all of the Underdark toppled over... thanks to you.

The Shrouded Sun tavern continued to prosper under the leadership of Gromph. Until an angry Gemcutter came back to the Prime Material Plane. A coward was going to pay dearly for hiding under a desk.

And a powerful devil, once the General of the Stygia Brigade, set his eyes upon the surface world...

• You will be transported to the Lobby, where the module ends.

Conclusion: SS and SDV were a blast to play, for a change, because they had good pacing and didn't get bogged down in deep storytelling and "role-playing," both of which I think get too much attention in many NWN and NWN2 modules (and normally at the cost of decent encounter design).


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